For many cryptocurrency users, privacy continues to remain a high priority. Popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin enable users to not just benefit from a more secure form of ‘money’ that is immutable but also adds the added benefit of being censorship resistance. However, the past few years have seen privacy-centric cryptos such as Monero and Zcash gain a lot of traction and are likely to further influence technological innovations even within the larger userbase of Bitcoin.
In a recent discussion, Andreas Antonopoulos, popular Bitcoin advocate highlighted how privacy continues to be at the forefront of the cryptocurrency movement and spoke about whether technological innovations now found in privacy coins like Monero can trickle down and evolve to become a privacy layer for Bitcoin. Antonopoulos noted that in the case of Monero, its privacy features are far more complex in comparison to that of Bitcoin, he said,
“Monero is a separate blockchain and a cryptocurrency that uses a combination of very strong privacy technologies in order to offer a degree of anonymity that is unmatched by Bitcoin.”
Interestingly a recent report by Carnegie Mellon University that analyzed the privacy features of popular privacy coins noted that not all privacy protocols and user bases are equal and enjoy the same level of privacy and anonymity. In the case of Monero, the researcher found that its privacy protocols are extremely robust but in the case of Zcash, its userbase seems to continue to not take advantage of the features afforded to them. The report read,
“even though cryptographically Zcash is very well-founded, the users behave in a way that does not take full advantage of the shielded pool, making them traceable.”
Antonopoulos went on to talk about how there could be a trickle-down effect from protocols developed in Monero that could benefit the Bitcoin ecosystem and its users substantially in the coming years. He pointed out that,
“Monero helps in multiple ways. It helps in the development of the protocol. It helps in the development of new privacy technologies, but it also helps as part of an ecosystem of cryptocurrencies and blockchains that can relatively swiftly, seamlessly, and cheaply interchange.”
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